The experiment of simulcasting KNST on FM has ended today at noon for Clear Channel (full disclosure: I was briefly employed there late last year) as 97.1 has flipped to Wild Country 97.1, an attempt to take on Tucson county stalwart KIIM. The station is in the midst of the standard 10,000 songs in a row gimmick right now, playing tracks by Randy Houser, Lonestar, Tim McGraw and the Zac Brown Band ... essentially the same sort of playlist as KIIM, although it remains to be seen whether Wild will feature local on-air personalities. As is sort of the policy around there, when the morning show launches in March, it'll be the syndicated Bobby Bones show out of Nashville, which features a sidekick named Lunchbox, because of of course it does.
More on the change in next week's Media Watch column, I'd imagine.
The press release from Clear Channel is below the cut:
TUCSON, ARIZ. — February 14, 2013 — KNST-FM today announced the debut of its new format Wild Country 97.1 FM. The station will feature music from an array of hit Country artists and in March will welcome The Bobby Bones Show weekday mornings.
In celebration of Tucson’s all-new Wild Country 97.1 making its debut at noon today, KNST-FM listeners will enjoy 10,000 commercial-free songs in a row including the newest tracks from hit Country artists such as Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, The Zac Brown Band and Carrie Underwood. Joining the weekday morning programming lineup on March 18, 2013, The Bobby Bones Show will feature on-air personalities Bobby Bones, Lunchbox and Amy, with special guest appearances from the biggest names in Country music. The morning show will also entertain Tucson listeners with a unique mix of pop-culture, news and crazy stunts.
“Wild Country provides an amazing opportunity to the Tucson community by offering a wider variety of music and entertainment,” said Glynn Alan, Market Manager for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Tucson. “We couldn't be more excited to connect Tucson Country fans with hot Country artists’ newest tracks — now they’ll have a station to call home and go Wild!”
Listeners will still be able to hear AM 790 KNST’s News/Talk programming through its continued simulcast on KRQQ HD2. Country fans can stay tuned to Wild Country 97.1 FM for the full list of local programming and can also listen to the station on its website, www.WildCountry971.com as well as on iHeartRadio.com and the iHeartRadio mobile app, Clear Channel’s all-in-one free digital listening service. iHeartRadio delivers everything listeners want in one free, fully-integrated service: instant access to more than 1,500 of the nation’s most popular live broadcast and digital-only radio stations from 150 cities, plus user-created custom stations inspired by favorite artists and songs. iHeartRadio also offers listeners a new “Perfect For” feature which allows users to choose from thousands of curated stations based on a range of moods and activities.